Pick Six Favorite Christmas Songs

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Growing up Christmas was the one time of year when I could depend on my father being in a good mood. He loved the holiday and we always celebrated it to its fullest. He was also quite generous at Christmas, to the family and to those less fortunate. It was one of the good lessons I learned from him, that no matter where you are, there is always someone worse off.

Christmas music has always been a big part of my celebration. I begin listening to it early on and enjoy it in all its forms. Here is a random pick six of some of my favorite songs:
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I love the Judy Garland version of this. In the original recording for the movie it was quite depressing, so the songwriters changed the lyrics some to make it a little less so. Still, it's certainly a sad song...but it always brings to mind for me all those I love and cannot be with at Christmas each year. I read that when she performed this for the troops she left them all crying. The song makes me feel that way to, but not in a bad way.
"Oh Holy Night". This is really probably near the top of my favorites list. Growing up I always listened to the version my mother had sung by Mario Lanza, someone she loved growing up. It is still the best version as far as I'm concerned, but if you'd like a little more modern version to listen to I think the one by Pavarotti and Domingo is wonderful. I also like Josh Grobin's version quite a lot. I'm not even religious, but when Lanza begins singing 'fall on your knees..." I get goosebumps every time.
"Silver Bells". Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney. Best. Version. Ever. One of my favorites to sing during the holidays and I always think of our little hometown Main Street all decorated up when I hear this song.
"Sleigh Ride". I actually prefer the John Williams & the Boston Pops version the best, which does not have singing. It is the one song that can always lift my spirits and I cannot imagine anyone not feeling happy listening to this son. I know madpoet just posted the video for the Ronettes version...which is also a good one!
"I'll be Home for Christmas". A nod to my father, who loved this song the most. The best version is Bing Crosby's though it has been recorded many, many times. I also like Michael Buble's version.
"The Christmas Song". I love the smooth sound of Nat King Cole singing, and his version of this is certainly a classic. For a new twist, I also like the one his daughter Natalie recorded with him as a duet.

While I limited myself to six here, I love Mariah Carey's version of "All I want for Christmas is You", and I do like the Glee version of "Baby it's Cold Outside".

Videos after the jump

Judy Garland:
Silver Bells: 
Sleigh Ride:
Oh Holy Night
I'll be home for Christmas: 
Christmas Song: 

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